Choki Wangmo

Parts of Thimphu are grappling with congestion due to roadside parking.

The roadside parking is caused mainly by the lack of underground parking at buildings. Thromde requires the building owners to either provide proper parking space near the establishment or have underground parking. The rule, however, has suffered poor implementation.

To ease congestion, particularly in core city areas, thromde officials and traffic police have initiated parking rules but with the number of cars increasing by the day, implementation has become a challenge for the officials.

As of August this year, there are 54,661 vehicles in Thimphu.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that roadside parking had decreased in certain areas due to monitoring and penalising defaulters.  He added that human resource shortage was the problem.

“We are not able to monitor the places day and night,” he said.

The police have been sticking stickers on cars parked along the ring road and levy Nu 750 fine payable within three days.

The move is expected to force the building owners to allocate parking space in their buildings for tenants.

Thromde’s executive secretary, Karma Namgyel, said the thromde was strictly monitoring the upcoming building constructions to ensure that they have parking space for tenants.

Currently, the house owners are found to convert allocated parking space for other purposes.

Thrompon had previously said the thromde would begin locking the wheels of the cars parked by the roadside.  It could not be implemented because the office had to consider the safety of their workers.

“We need support from the police to enforce the rules because there are chances of violators harassing our officials,” thrompon said.

There are about 20 wheel lock machines with the thromde.

Karma Namgyel said the thromde had plans to establish mass parking areas. The problem right now, according to him, was that people did not park in the designated parking space as they are unwilling to pay the parking fees.

“The thromde will talk with the parking fee agency and allocate parking fee collectors across the city.  It would reduce illegal parking and congestion,” Karma Namgyel said.

Once the road widening in the city completes, the officials said that monitoring would be easier.

Meanwhile, the plan to do away with the Norzin Lam parking is still in the initial stage.

Earlier, the thrompon said parking would be removed after Thimphu tshechu in October. The thromde is awaiting government directives and approval.